On the production of blades and its relationship to backed artefacts in the Howiesons Poort at Diepkloof, South Africa
The presence of blades is one identfling feature of Howiesons Poort technologies, along with the presence of backed artefacts and relatively high frequencies of fine-grained rocks. Blades in this context are commonly understood to have been produced to serve as blanks for the manufacture of backed artefacts. This paper explores the relationship between blades and backed artefacts in detail, using data from the Howiesons Poort layers at the site of Diepkloof. It is found that there is limited evidence for a direct relationship between these two assemblage elements. Instead, it is suggested that blades were used as a means of improving flaking yield, primarily towards the end of core use-lives.